Campus junior Mahathi Kandimalla launched her campaign for the ASUC Senate, representing the pre-health student community.
As a double major in molecular and cell biology as well as public health, Kandimalla wants to be an advocate for pre-health students while also concentrating on sexual health, student needs initiatives and ensuring transparency within her office.
“(I am) focusing on building an office that again has both diverse interests and opinions so that we can gather as many resources as possible for the pre-health student body, while keeping in mind that we need to take into account various students’ not lifestyles, but their experiences,” Kandimalla said.
During her time in the ASUC, Kandimalla has been a sexual violence and sexual harassment intern her freshman year for former ASUC Senator Sitara Bellam, the educative event associate her sophomore year in former ASUC Senator Ruchi Shah’s office and is currently the chief of staff and the pre-health director in Senator Muz Ahmad’s office.
Kandimalla noted one of the primary issues pre-health students are currently facing is the lack of hospitals in the campus’s vicinity, which provide students with resources and opportunities.
“A lot of students come here saying ‘Oh, UCSF will have these kinds of opportunities,’ but I don’t think we ever realized how long it’d take and how expensive it is to commute to UCSF,” Kandimalla said. “I really do want to focus on making resources more accessible to students both time-wise and money-wise.”
While Kandimalla’s campaign is centered around the pre-health student community, she said a lot of things that pre-health students need are universally needed among the entire student body, such as sexual health.
Kandimalla wants to specifically work on issues within the realm of sexual health, such as making contraceptive access anonymous.
“(I want to make) sure you don’t have to walk all the way to the Tang Center and ask someone for Plan B to get it,” Kandimalla said. “(I’m focused on) making sure we have more accessible ways to get it.”
Shah said Kandimalla is the most qualified candidate for senator because of her diligence, persistence and work ethic.
Similarly, Ahmad added that Kandimala is the best candidate to lead the pre-health community.
“She is tenacious, passionate and will be a strong advocate for Pre-Health students at Cal,” Ahmad said in an email. “I’m so excited to see all the great things Mahathi does in her term as a Senator!”
If Kandimalla is not elected as the pre-health senator, she said she will want to join any sexual health office within the ASUC if there is one, continue being a part of the American Medical Student Association and will aid in providing students with pre-health resources on campus.